Craving a trip to sunny Spain, tropical Thailand or the Mediterranean? Good news: you can explore faraway destinations right here in Alexandria at one of our many ethnic restaurants serving mouthwatering international cuisine. Even better, several of these hotspots for global eats are offering Alexandria Restaurant Week specials, making now the perfect time to take your taste buds on a trip around the world in Alexandria.
(Find Part 1 of our series on Alexandria’s international food here.)
Image via Flickr user Pim Techamuanvivit
Like spice? From classic (or more mild) favorites like green papaya salad and pad thai to herb- and heat-loaded dishes, find it in Alexandria. On King Street, there’s Sam Phao Thai, Sangjun Thai and Mai Thai, which offers views of the Potomac and nice outdoor seating in warm weather. Get your Thai fix and that California roll you’ve been craving at Royal Thai and Sushi Bar in Old Town, head to Thai Peppers in Del Ray for delicious curry and dumplings, or feast on extra-spicy drunken noodles at Pasara Thai in Carlyle.
Image via Flickr user Steve Johnson
Ah, tapas—the best way to try as many tasty dishes as possible. At La Tasca, pair your paella, charcuterie, fried eggplant and a host of other small plates with a wide variety of sangria and wine. Oh, and if you like flamenco dancing, reserve your tickets for Wednesday night flamenco dinners.
Image via Flickr user Crissy Terawaki Kawamoto
Fresh olive oil, sweet figs, lamb and feta—you can have it all in Alexandria. Try Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro on King Street or their original location on Powhatan for Cypriot dishes like chicken souvlaki and tzaziki sauce, or enjoy flatbread and wine at Caprese Mediterranean Grill at Embassy Suites Old Town. (For other Greek/Mediterranean restaurants in Alexandria, see Part 1 of this series!)
Image via Olea
In Tehran, Chef Merhnoosh helmed a contemporary Italian restaurant adapted to the Persian palate. At Olea, she picked up where she left off, and now you can sample her fresh, healthy pizzas in Old Town (the Chicken Saffron is a must-try!).
Sri Lankan food
Image credit: Visit Alexandria
At Shakthi in Del Ray, dive into traditional Sri Lankan food including curries, kotthu roti (Sri Lankan street food, also known as happiness wrapped in a banana leaf), string hoppers and more. Shakthi was the first Sri Lankan restaurant in the DC area, and the homemade Sri Lankan spices are a hard act to follow.
Image via Flickr use Biketripper
Up for a habanero margarita? Taqueria Poblano in Del Ray has you covered. This neighborhood favorite won first place for best margarita in DC 2014 in the Washington City Paper Readers Poll, but don’t forget their tacos—they’re also tops. In North Old Town, Casa Felipe offers both regional Mexican food and classic Tex Mex, including fresh guacamole for free, and on King Street, Austin Grill and Tequila Bar serves up fresh, made-from-scratch Tex Mex Austin-style with great happy hour specials.
Image via Flickr user monavano
Marcela’s Bakery has a storefront location not far from Shakthi, but the easiest way to sample Marcela’s signature salteñas (baked empanadas filled with meat in a sweet and spicy sauce) is to visit the Del Ray Farmer’s Market. Follow them up with one of the baked goods like the mini dulce de leche cake for the perfect finish.